Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smoking Belies Milder Disease But Worse Prognosis For Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients

Date:
January 15, 2008
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Smokers and ex-smokers with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an untreatable progressive lung disease that usually leads to death within a few years of diagnosis, have a worse prognosis than nonsmokers, according to research from London.

Smokers and ex-smokers with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), an untreatable progressive lung disease that usually leads to death within a few years of diagnosis, have a worse prognosis than non-smokers, according to research from London.

Related Articles


Previous research had counter-intuitively suggested that current smokers with IPF might live longer than ex-smokers, but the new study establishes that the data likely reflected a healthy smoker effect.

"Smoking is associated with a higher mortality in IPF, and an earlier finding, suggesting the contrary, was almost certainly due to the fact that smokers tend to stop smoking when disease becomes more severe--and so current smoking is linked to milder disease," said Athol U. Wells, M.D., of the Interstitial Lung Disease Unit at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, who headed the research.

The investigators studied the medical records of 249 patients with IPF, and analyzed the extent and severity of their disease, smoking history and survival. Their initial findings, unadjusted for disease severity, were similar to the earlier study-- namely that smokers had longer survival times than ex-smokers. But when they adjusted their data to reflect the extent and severity of the disease at presentation, their findings shed a new light on the previous finding.

"We established that current smokers live longer, but this is mostly because they have much milder disease. Clearly, many patients stop smoking precisely because their disease is getting worse. This is the 'healthy smoker' effect: that current smoking is a marker for milder disease because advancing disease causes smoking cessation," said Dr. Wells. "Symptomatic patients with more severe disease may be more likely to stop smoking for perceived health reasons. It can, therefore, be argued that current smoking might be a marker of less severe disease, associated with better survival."

Using the composite physiologic index (CPI), an index of disease severity that takes into account lung function and diffusion capacity as well as the confounding functional effects of concurrent emphysema, they found that survival was better in non-smokers than in the two smoking groups.

"We speculate as to whether this reflects disease co-morbidity--that is, excess mortality from non-pulmonary disease ascribable to smoking-- or an effect of smoking in driving progression of lung disease," said Dr. Wells.

The researchers have several ongoing studies to determine the precise linkage between smoking damage such as smoking-related emphysema, IPF and other forms of fibrotic lung disease.

"The next step is to pursue the idea that mechanisms linked to smoking cause progression of pulmonary fibrosis," says Dr. Wells. "If we can then understand these mechanisms better, this may give us new treatment options."

The study appears in the second issue for January of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Smoking Belies Milder Disease But Worse Prognosis For Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115085411.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2008, January 15). Smoking Belies Milder Disease But Worse Prognosis For Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115085411.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Smoking Belies Milder Disease But Worse Prognosis For Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115085411.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins